A Tale of Two Movies
But until that time comes, here is my take on the current evangelical reaction. I am truly perplexed at the evangelical response to these two recent (or about to be recent) theatrical film releases. The current response to these films actually seems almost topsy-turvy.
Beauty and the Beast
On the one hand, we have a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast that, according to the director, has a “delicious,” “exclusively gay” moment. And so naturally, very prominent evangelical leaders are calling for a boycott of the film. When I first head about this “moment” I was initially wondering if it was similar to the “moment” in Finding Dory when there’s a split-second scene of two women with a stroller - which obviously means they are “clearly” a homosexual couple (while two mothers at the aquarium while the fathers are at work is not just as plausible is still beyond me).
Now that it's attainable, we have "millions" of women protesting that possibility. And while Christians should always be doing our best to live at peace with all (Rom. 12:18), there is still a responsibility to speak out against those "who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isa. 5:20). Consequently, there is a certain joy that comes with the knowledge that our nation might actually stop the murdering of 3,000 innocent lives a day - an atrocity that far outweighs the Holocaust to the point that it's now beyond measure.
While good-intentioned as these arguments may be, I reject them for at least the following reasons: (1) The political atmosphere is only a byproduct of the cultural war, which we evangelicals as a whole have given up on long ago. If we're to worry about tainting our witness to the world, it must start first and foremost with the cultural war, (2) We have a solid history in Scripture where our fellow-saints were able to live in good conscience, given the circumstances around them, with supporting immoral people in office (or a position of political power) and even helping them attain such a position. The situation we face today is similar. And we would do well to follow their example. (3) Seeking the world's approval should be the furthest thing from us - even when it comes to politics.
Why we shouldn't vote for Trump - in just one passage of Scripture:
My Joy in Christmas
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There's not a whole lot! I mean, on the one hand we could say the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. That's certainly a joyous occasion (as well as Good Friday, where He paid the penalty for our sins).
But neither of those could have happened unless he did the truly remarkable thing of becoming one of us; or, as John records it: "the Word became flesh" (Jn. 1:14).
As Christians, we need to presume he is innocent until proven guilty.
As the number of individuals accusing Bill Cosby of rape and/or other sexual offenses has reached 55, there's a large part of the public (including Christians) who are determined that that's plenty of evidence to determine his guilt.
Why I'm Voting "No" on Issue 3
Furthermore, God's Word - the standard to which all governing measures (whether self-governing, family-governing, church-governing, or state-governing) should be subject - never gives the State the right or authority to dictate what one can and cannot ingest in their bodies (provided it's not breaking some other lawful matter, like the taking away of an innocent life - for instance, the State does have a right to prohibit any type of ingestion that would induce an abortion, and execute those who would use such ingestions - Ex. 21:12, 22-25).
Therefore, yes, I think marijuana should be legal for individuals to grow and use.
#YesImAChristian - And Yes I'm Armed
Precious in the sight of the LORD
In addition to that, clearly something does need to be done to help prevent such tragedies from being so frequent. I think we would be hard pressed to disagree with the idea that ultimately what will reduce or eliminate these tragedies is the mass conversion of individuals to becoming Christians through the power of the Holy Spirit, which He will use by the preaching of the gospel to the unsaved, and then training Christians in full-orbed discipleship in our churches.
In the meantime, I wish to express the following thoughts on what it means to be a Christian in the face of these types of situations.
A Few Words on Kim Davis
All I wish to do is to call attention to the false dichotomy being imposed in the chant: "Do your job or resign." For one thing, Kim Davis, by neglecting to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, is doing her job. The State of Kentucky Constitution reads thus:
Isn't it interesting that Scripture teaches so clearly such an ambivalent attitude toward money and wealth.
For instance it is seen as a definite blessing that Abraham and Job were wealthy individuals (Gen. 13:2; Job 42:10). Likewise, Moses prays for the Lord to establish the work of their hands (Ps. 90:17 - bless their work and the fruit of that work), while Jabez also prayed for God's material blessings (1 Chron. 4:10). And both of these were seen as good things. Yet eslewhere in Scripture there are very sharp rebukes against the wealthy (Jas. 5:1-6;cf. Lk. 6:24).
I'm not going to take the time here to lay out a case as to why that is an abhorrent ruling in the eyes of God (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) and why gloating over it as Obama did will only incur further wrath on himself and his nation (Ps. 2:10-12).
What I also will not be doing is claiming myself to be sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on America because of this ruling and, in my mind, even far more gruesome sins (like the 3 million babies we kill each year in terrifying ways). No, I'm not sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on a sinful nation.
What I'm saying is that the church has already been doing that very thing for far too long; and we need to repent from that method of Christian living.
And there is certainly much to be appreciated about seeing solid teamwork being displayed right before your eyes. Everyone contributing their own unique gifts and abilities to oppose and conquer the opposition (these are similar reasons why I enjoy the Marvel Universe films). In reality, it gives a great picture of the church in that everyone in Christ contributes their own spiritual gifts (Eph. 4:15-16), and by so doing are opposing the gates of hell and eventually overcoming them (Mt. 16:18; cf. Eph. 3:20-21).
But times like this, for sports fans (just as times like the one coming soon for me when Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theatres) provides a good time and venue for a sobering reality check.
Movie Review: Old Fashioned
But as for the movie Old Fashioned itself: What was the story? What did it teach? What did it glorify? In essence, is it worth watching?
And now comes the hard part of trying to review a wonderful movie without giving any spoilers. But try I will!
On the other hand, I also believe there were many more moments in her speech, which came through quite clearly, that we would do well to reject - in light of Scripture.
Overcoming the World
Today's Google Doodle was in honor of Nelson Mandela. And as usual with Google, it was done incredibly well. But it's when things are so appealing to our visual enjoyment and emotions that we might do well to be even more attune to how to interpret it in light of God's Word.
Now I need to be clear up front: this post is not intended to attack Nelson Mandela in the least.(1) It is, however, intended to provide an analysis of the message Google presents in honor of Mandela (at least in part from his own words) and how that message is at polar opposites with the message God provides in His Word.
So if you examine with me the beautiful doodles of Google compared to God's Word, I hope you'll discover with me that as at many other times, there is an important clash of worldviews - that is - an important clash of understanding of truth, that is at stake here.
So what is so opposite the Christian message in today's doodle?
Let's take a look. After clicking on the arrow to the right of Nelson Mandela we're taken (in a Pixar-esque fashion) to the next doodle, which I believe is taken straight from Mandela's autobiography.